Nicole Rudderham

Lily had her first art class today with a local artist Nicole Best Rudderham. What a great experience! Nicole is an incredibly talented and wonderful individual. Understanding that everyone learns differently and people can have different perspectives and approaches to making art, she caters her teaching as students need it. Nicole didn’t just teach Lily an art class today. For those two hours she was also a role model and friend.

Nicole RudderhamLeif's favourite of Nicole's pieces

Lily’s painting for today was a landscape painting. It reminded me very much of the sunsets she’s been enamoured with this last week. She hasn’t missed one sunset all week and has been copying down the layered colours on paper, hoping to show her dad when he gets home.


Nicole taught her about foreground, background, horizon and inspiration. She taught Lily how best to care for her paintbrushes (don’t leave them sitting in water!), work with acrylic paint and how to mix primary colours to create colours of her choosing. Nicole also showed her a number of neat techniques for creating stars, painting pebbles on a beach, painting foamy and rippled waves and painting trees.

Working with Nicole

We bought a few supplies on our way home and Lily’s been spending the afternoon teaching Leif all that she learned. We bought red, yellow, blue and white acrylic paint. We also bought some canvases and a couple new paint brushes. I think I see a lot of painting in our future!

Finished Painting!

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16 Responses to More Than An Art Class

  1. Oh How lovely!
    What a fresh and vibrant looking sunset and Daughter you have!
    There are certain times and certain people that can influence us in a really meaning full way and it looks to me your Sun-Gurrl has found one of those Certain-People!
    Yay. Thanks for sharing this story.
    One day when I grow up I want to be such an influence!
    Cheers and happy blogging-Living/Sharing

  2. G G says:

    I would love to be so beautiful and talented..Creation is magnificent and wonderful to capture the beauty in art. Very proud of you and your Mom’s encouragement.

  3. megan says:

    wow, what a great experience and opportunity for lily! and her painting is just lovely! are you going to pick up the brushes and try your hand, as well? :)

  4. Rea says:

    She looks so happy. Can I sign up too please? (Gorgeous photos)

  5. Courtney says:

    Wow, that IS wonderful! Great masterpiece Lily!!

  6. erin says:

    Beautiful photos Annie!

    It is a magical and serendipitous place when you can find an art mentor for a child. It is something we have been so blessed with in working with Suzanne, and fibre arts. And the friendship, the mentorship keeps on deepening to my and my boys’ delight.

    I’m glad you have someone in your midst who can allow the child to lead the artistic process and not the other way around. We have tried various art programs here for painting and drawing and there hasn’t yet been the great fit that we hope for one day. We have fibre arts mentorship with Suzanne and that is great for now. We tried 4 Cats too, 9 a local franchise) and it was so structured that Matthew was antsy right away. He refused to return to another class! He has such a freedom with artistic expression and assertiveness with carrying out what he envisions that it will take a confident person with a child-centric approach to keep pace with him.

    I hope Lily finds joy and purpose in this art class. She looks to be really enjoying herself. And yes, are you thinking of painting too? Does it call you?

    ~Erin xo

  7. Annie says:

    Mickey- I have no doubt that you are or will be a creative mentor. Your work is beautiful and you are obviously a delightful and caring person. I would be so lucky to have my children learn from you if we lived near each other.

    Grandma- Love you!

    Megan- It’s something I’ve considered by I’m not that drawn to try. I’m intrigued by what can be created with paint and brushes but it’s hard to imagine there’s something in me that can create beautiful works. I much rather learn and spend my time with my camera! I was marvelling at Nicole’s work and how she makes it come alive and yet, I honestly was thinking about how to create the same pictures with my camera!

    Rea- The commute might be a bit much for you! Ha.

    Courtney- Thanks so much for forwarding me Nicole’s schedule so we could join this class!

    Erin- I remember now what you’ve written about Suzanne. These are exactly the kind of community relationships I hope my children will have plenty of. We are so on the same page! Nicole was telling me about some of the boys she’s had in classes and getting them to understand that they don’t have to “follow the rules” but need to keep it fun and interpret and create the way that moves them. All teachers should encourage this kind of experience.

  8. Kim says:

    What a great experience for your daughter. And what a beautiful first painting too!

  9. Rosina says:

    What a fantastic painting Lily created! Such a pretty sunset and I just love how she is just beaming in the photo. Sounds like she has a wonderful teacher to nurture her budding creativity :)

  10. dawnsuzette says:

    What a wonderful experience for Lily… and I LOVE that she came home and taught Leif what she learned. Awesome passing on of knowledge.

    Great job capturing it all with your camera. The light in the studio looks bright and perfect for all kinds of art… including photography!

    Beautiful painting Lily! The colors are spectacular.

  11. april says:

    What a lovely experience for Lily.
    And so wonderful to find such a mentor.

    Love and light.

  12. greenteacher says:

    I absolutely love the colors in that painting Lily! They remind me of Ted Harrison’s artwork. I would be honored to have one of your paintings on my wall one day :)

  13. Annie says:

    Thanks everyone! Lily gushes to see her painting here in the photo or each time she walks by it in the dining room.

    G- Thank you so much for pointing us in the direction of Ted Harrison! I recognise his work from somewhere but I have never looked at more of his art. Lily is enthralled! Really and truly. She’s eager to paint something for you.

  14. Lindsay says:

    What a great experience for Lily! I too hope to find creative people in our community who are like that. And I adore Lily’s painting. I’m more like you. I want to learn about my camera and taking pictures, and don’t have much of a desire to learn to paint. I do appreciate looking at other’s creations though.

  15. paxye says:


    I wish we had opportunities like that around here. I know, I know… I need to move…

  16. Sarah says:

    Oh my Annie. I’ve been (really enjoying) catching up on reading here and my first thought on seeing this lovely post is how much your gorgeous Lily has grown up! It’s quite startling… I’ve noticed how much Esme has changed recently and it’s taken me by surprise. I almost forget that everyone else’s kids are doing the same thing…

    The art class sounds really wonderful and it’s so great that Lily was nurtured by her new friend. You can see the enthusiasm in her, she’s obviously enjoyed the process of creating something beautiful very much.

    Hope you are doing ok without Cam there and finding your groove. It’s hard on your own isn’t it? As we say here, chin up chuck ;)

    lots of love S xxx

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